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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 7870 XT

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 comes with a core clock frequency of 602 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 1107 MHz. It also makes use of a 512-bit memory bus, and uses a 65 nm design. It is made up of 240 SPUs, 80 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 7870 XT, which uses a 28 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 925 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM is set to run at a speed of 1500 MHz on this specific card. It features 1536 SPUs along with 96 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 185 Watts
GeForce GTX 280 236 Watts
Difference: 51 Watts (28%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 7870 XT should be 36% quicker than the GeForce GTX 280 overall, because of its greater data rate. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 192000 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 280 141696 MB/sec
Difference: 50304 (36%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 XT will be much (more or less 84%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the GeForce GTX 280. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 88800 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 48160 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 40640 (84%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 XT should be much (about 54%) more effective at AA than the GeForce GTX 280, and will be able to handle higher screen resolutions while still performing well. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 29600 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 19264 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 10336 (54%)

Please note that the above 'benchmarks' are all just theoretical - the results were calculated based on the card's specifications, and real-world performance may (and probably will) vary at least a bit.

Price Comparison

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GeForce GTX 280

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 7870 XT

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Please note that the price comparisons are based on search keywords - sometimes it might show cards with very similar names that are not exactly the same as the one chosen in the comparison. We do try to filter out the wrong results as best we can, though.

Specifications

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Model GeForce GTX 280 Radeon HD 7870 XT
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year June 17, 2008 November 2012
Code Name G200 Tahiti LE
Memory 1024 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 602 MHz 925 MHz
Memory Speed 2214 MHz 6000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 236 watts 185 watts
Bandwidth 141696 MB/sec 192000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 48160 Mtexels/sec 88800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19264 Mpixels/sec 29600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 240 1536
Texture Mapping Units 80 96
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 512-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 65 nm 28 nm
Transistors 1400 million 4313 million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.1 OpenGL 4.3

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface within a second. It is calculated by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the video card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the graphics card can possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTX 280

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 7870 XT

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Please note that the price comparisons are based on search keywords - sometimes it might show cards with very similar names that are not exactly the same as the one chosen in the comparison. We do try to filter out the wrong results as best we can, though.

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